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Missouri House panel backs status quo congressional map

Missouri capitol
Posted at 10:36 AM, Jan 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-12 11:36:30-05

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Missouri House panel advanced a congressional redistricting plan Wednesday that is projected to keep Republicans solidly in control of the state's delegation to Washington without reaching for an even more dominant advantage.

The proposed U.S. House districts make adjustments to the current boundaries to account for population changes noted in the 2020 census. They are projected to result in Republicans continuing to hold six seats and Democrats two after this year's elections.

Some Republicans, joined by the state's largest anti-abortion group Missouri Right to Life, have pressed lawmakers to adopt a map that could give Republicans a shot at winning seven seats. They want to split up the 5th District held by Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver and attach its parts to other Republican-leaning rural areas. But no motion was made to do that Wednesday by members of the House Special Committee on Redistricting.

However, the committee did respond to concerns raised by leaders from the Ray County community of Richmond, who objected that the proposed map would have split their city into two districts. The panel amended the proposal Wednesday to keep Ray County whole and to include it - along with the rural counties of Carroll and Chariton - in the 6th District currently represented by Republican Rep. Sam Graves.

To offset that change, the committee further divided Jackson County to include some of its eastern Kansas City suburbs in the 4th District currently represented by Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler.

Committee Chairman Rep. Dan Shaul said he expects the congressional redistricting plan to be considered next Tuesday by the full House.